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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sierra Vista

Getting started on the Sierra Vista Trail
Dr. K, Becca and I decided on a change of pace this Sunday morning, and we headed up into the high foothills of the Organ Mountains for a long hike on the Sierra Vista ("mountain view") Trail.  Although there was a high overcast for a good bit of our trek, the sun came out on our inbound leg and made for some toasty hiking conditions.  Not surprisingly, other outdoor enthusiasts were on the trail, and we encountered four hikers and a mountain biker.  As we neared the trailhead the Mexican Gold Poppies that were reluctant to unfurl under cloud cover had opened up to reveal their true beauty.
There was a high overcast for much of the morning

A little progress

Needs sun to encourage it to open

About a mile in

A glimpse back at the Organs

Becca spotted this small herd of Mule Deer first

They were quite distant, but moving to avoid us

Stopping for a look around

Vast desert and sky

Tortugas Mountain from the foothills of the Organ Mountains

Stopping to check us out

Steal those plants and you'll be bleeding awhile

Rock cairn

This tree was our goal today

It provides rare shade in the desert

Becca takes advantage of the shade

Mexican Gold Poppy

Ah Wilderness!

Heading back

Sotols and the Organs

Sotols (aka "Desert Spoons")

Strange, comma-shaped clouds over our hacienda


Dr. K said...

Mule deer and poppies--nice to see both on our hike this morning.

packrat said...

The poppies worry me a bit, Dr. K. A little too early for them to be blooming high up on the mountain.

Hump Day Hawk

Tortugas and the Organs We got a fairly early start this morning so it wasn't hot at all:  62F.  The cloud cover helped the temperature ...